General Question

whitetigress's avatar

What is neck fusion surgery?

Asked by whitetigress (3129points) November 4th, 2011

Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning has under gone this surgery. I was wondering what kind of surgery is this? Why it is needed and what it does?

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11 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

It is fusing two or more vertebrae together to at least partially repair damange to them, usually by suddent and violent motion. Sometimes bleached cadaver bones are used to repair the spine. This almost always reduces the range of motion of the neck, so is used sparingly.

filmfann's avatar

If it is the same thing a friend of mine had, they cut into your throat, move everything to the side, and work on the spine from the front. My friend had it done, and was back to work after 4 months or so. The way they do it grosses me out.

wilma's avatar

@filmfann I had that kind of surgery, but I didn’t have a fusion.
What @CaptainHarley said is the basics of it. They can also use your own bone from your hip or someplace like that.

whitetigress's avatar

@CaptainHarley Do you suspect Manning will bounce back from this injury? Odds of it snapping again?

CaptainHarley's avatar

It’s hard to say since the strength of bone has so many genetic components, but I would say it’s unlikely that he will be able to play anymore. Sorry!

gasman's avatar

I think often a fusion is required to stabilize the neck after a cervical disk must be removed because it’s pressing on spinal cord or exiting nerve roots.

I wonder if Manning had an anterior cervical discectomy & fusion (ACDF), which is usually an outpatient procedure. This is a computer animation. This a time-lapse video of an actual operation as seen through the surgeon’s microscope.

Brian1946's avatar


Thanks for the video.

Do you think a neck is as good as new after that procedure, or would the patient be advised to never again participate any contact sport?

gasman's avatar

@Brian1946 I have no idea how they make that call.

whitetigress's avatar

@Brian1946 Here’s a decent debate about whether he should come back or not. Peyton Manning Retire Ramble

wilma's avatar

I have had an anterior cervical discectomy, without fusion.
No you will never be good as new or the same. As for playing again, I have no idea.

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